Tag Archives: patterns

“Mind Your Own Biscuits And Life Will Be Gravy”

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So one week from today I’ll be in my hospital bed at Temple University Hospital, recovering from my aneurysm clipping surgery. And, touching wood and turning around three times and spitting for good luck, I may even be back home by now. Hopefully this will be my last big surgery for a very, very long time, if not forever.

Since this really is brain surgery, I’m going to be hanging around the house for quite awhile. The Brain Guy said recovery time for a craniotomy is about a month and that I should be taking it easy for at least that, if not longer. If you’re a regular reader of this little blog o’ mine, you already know “me” and “taking it easy” don’t really belong in the same sentence. I adore a really good afternoon nap and there’s not too much I love more than hanging around the house in a flannel shirt and some yoga pants, but I’m an antsy little thing.

So I thought (ha!) it would be a fine idea to pull out some of the knitting I put aside when I started learning how to tote up debits and credits back in September. It seems that I’ve got half of one sock done, another sock that needs its mate, a fingerless mitt that needs its partner as well as its thumb, a ridiculous amount of yarn for two sweaters and a duster as well as a pullover I started in June with high hopes of wearing it in, umm, October.

Which was two months ago. Hey, yarn doesn’t go bad.

And it was in that spirit that I decided (ha!) I needed two more projects to keep me amused while my noggin’s healing. I’ve been doing a fair amount of yapping about crocheting and knitting afghans for awhile now, so I figured it would be a good time to put up or shut up and get started, already.

My other justification for buying more yarn…I mean, starting two new projects is this: I need simple stuff to work on. None of my current projects really qualify as “simple”. I love the complicated cables and colorwork and little tiny DPNs and skinny sock yarn. I mean, love. In reality, what I’m really going to need are things that I don’t really have to think about too much.

So here’s the crocheted afghan pattern and it’s a beauty. I’m using Berroco Vintage worsted in all the colors since I think I’m going for a millefiore inspiration with this. I have a vague memory of someone in my family collecting millefiore paperweights when I was a kid and I was fascinated with them. This is going to be for our queen-sized bed and each triangle motif is about six inches across, so I’m going to need a whole boatload of these. I have no idea how many exactly or what colors I’ll be using yet. I’m making this up as I go along.

Why, no, I haven’t really thought about putting them all together yet. One challenge at a time, ‘kay?

And here’s the knitted afghan project for the couch. In my knitting world, this qualifies as “simple” because that sucker’s 20 pattern repeats across. I can live with a few “purl through the back loop” every fifteen rows or so, even though those words usually make me twitch.

I’m also going to get some special, luxe yarn to take with to the hospital with me so I can start a pair of very simple socks. If the yarn is beautiful, you don’t need to do much with it to bring out the best in it. I’m going to be recovering from big, icky surgery and I have every intention of being very, very, good to myself.


 

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Pass the butter, please.

So here’s something I’ve been making for ages. They’re from one of my favorite cookbooks of all time (“Moosewood Restaurant New Classics“). They’re great with a bowl of soup or stew and the kitchens smells like heaven while they’re in the oven. The only drawback with these beauties? They’re scones, so they only last for one day. That problem is easily solved, though. Just eat two.

Rosemary Garlic Scones 

  • 2 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary (you can use 1/2 tsp of dried, but they’re so, so much better if you use the fresh)
  • 2 cups unbleached white flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 Tbsp cold unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  1. Preheat the oven to 425°. Line the bottom of a baking sheet with parchment paper or lightly oil it.
  2. In a small skillet, heat 2 Tbsp of the oil. Add the garlic, pepper and rosemary. Simmer for about 1 minute (do not let the garlic burn) and remove from the heat.
  3. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Using a pastry cutter, two knives or your fingers (which is what I do), quickly cut the butter into the flour until it’s evenly distributed. Add the seasoned oil mixture and mix well. Quickly stir in the buttermilk to form a a soft (but sticky) dough.
  4. On a lightly floured board, lightly knead the dough so it holds together. Lightly pat it into a 6″ circle and cut it into 6 wedges. Place them on the prepared baking sheet and lightly brush the tops of the scones with the remaining 1/2 tsp of olive oil. I always forget this step.
  5. Bake for about 20 minutes or until the scones are golden brown. Don’t over bake these suckers or they’ll be dense and dry.
  6. Enjoy!

 

 

 

Rocks Your Socks Off, Woman

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One of the reasons I wanted to learn how to knit is all down to a pair of knitted socks I saw in a magazine about 10 years ago. I can’t remember if they had cables running up and down them or if they were striped or if they were knitted out of cashmere. The only detail that remains in my memory is that they were hand knitted socks, they were cool and I wanted to learn how to make them because I wanted to be the cool, crafty chick who knitted socks.

Fast forward a bunch of years and I’ve done more than a couple of pairs. I’ve knitted socks with cables and I’ve made striped ones and I’ve got cashmere sock yarn, which is like crack for sock knitters. I’ve got individual sock patterns and whole books of nothing but sock patterns. I’ve got sock yarn coming out the wazoo. There’s little knitting needles for knitting socks with thin yarn and bigger needles for thicker yarn. I’ve got all kinds of little sock knitting notions to help me out when I’m knitting socks, which seems to be all the time these days.

See?

See?

I’m just a little obsessed.

Like many other things in life, the more you do something, the better you get at it. And if you’re anything like me, you want things that are more challenging. Time to step it up a bit and move up to the big leagues. You know, knit like a big girl.

Meet Eunice.

Eunice entered my life as a sock pattern in a book full of lots of complicated, complex things when I was a novice knitter and didn’t really know what I was doing. So I looked at it, drooled a little bit, sighed a lot, tried the pattern, cursed and threw things, slammed the book shut and went back to making something a whole lot easier.

One stitch at a time, baby.

One stitch at a time, baby.

I did this for ages, but not this time. And I’m making progress. And hey, no bad language.

Well, not yet, anyway. There’s still a lot of sock left to knit.

Sweeter In A Sweater

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So, now that you’re all excited about my spring knitting (you are, aren’t you?), here’s the plan.

If 2014 was the “Year Of The Sock”, 2015 is “The Year Of The Sweater”. When I started knitting a few years ago, the whole idea of learning was solely (ha!) so that I could knit socks. So I got needles and yarn and took a knitting lesson and bought books and watched YouTube videos and consulted the oracles and brought the knitting gods and goddesses gluten-free wine and fair trade chocolate and now I knit socks. Lots of them, and I do love to knit them. I’m pretty good at it, too.

But they’re only part of what I now want to accomplish. It’s time to move on to bigger things. Like sweaters.

I have never knit a sweater, so in typical littleredyarn fashion, I’m jumping in with both feet. My goal is to make three sweaters this year. The first one is an top-down pullover with an Indian blouse feel to it, the second one is a cardigan full of cable-y goodness and the third is a coat. leonard knitting

Yes, I’m knitting a coat. Don’t look at me like that; it’s just a long sweater.

I think.

Anyway, here are the patterns and yarns I’ll be using.

Up first is the “Indian Print Henley”, designed by Anne Hanson, from the “The Knitter’s Handy Book Of Top Down Sweaters” by Ann Budd. I’ll be using “Galileo” from KnitPicks in Urchin.

And isn’t that pretty? I used to live in Indian shirts when I was in high school (cue up some Allmans for me, please), so that’s a nice, updated trip down Memory Lane with enough, ahem, coverage for this almost-50 year old.

The second one is “Plaits and Links” from Kathy Zimmerman. I already have the yarn for that; it’s the oh-so-luscious “Kenzie” from HiKoo. That’s in the boysenberry colorway. It’s been in hibernation for a few months since I knew I was going to lose weight from the surgery and my treatments. I know some of the weight will probably come back, but I’m going to really try and stay on the cute side of chubby after all of this is over.

The coat? Oh, I’m so glad you asked. The coat is the wonderful “Car Coat” from Vogue Knitting. I think I’m going to use Quince & Co’s “Puffin” for this. So that means a trip to my favorite LYS in the Manayunk section of Philly, a hang with my friend Lisa and a couple of well-spent hours inhaling yarn fumes. Some La Colombe coffee and I’m set for the afternoon.

I’ll be doing more socks, of course. I have a lot of sock and I was gifted with a tremendous amount of beautiful stuff over the holidays. I already know “Zombody, Throw Me Some Beads” is going to become a Larch. Well, that’s what it told me and who am I to argue?

I think there’s going to be a crocheted afghan somewhere in there, too. Maybe. At least I can start it.

And hopefully finish it.

So, it’s like this…

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So, this wasn’t the way I’d intended to start my blog. Really. I wanted to tinker with it and make all pretty and shiny and post all of my crafty and cooking stuff here so I could share it with everyone. If you’re reading this, you probably already know that I’m doing “Year Of Making” over on Instagram and I get a lot of requests for patterns and recipes. Which is all incredibly flattering and terrific and I’m thrilled that people think my knitting and crocheting and cooking looks like something they’d like to make for themselves, but it gets a little cumbersome when it comes to sharing stuff with multiple people, mainly because my 49-year-old brain can’t always remember who wanted what.

And I can’t always trust my scribbles on sticky notes, either. I usually find one that says something like “LA, pasta recipe, no fish, change to chix” or something like that. And while I know perfectly well that LA is LeeAnn and that she doesn’t eat fish I am absolutely at a loss when it comes to remembering which pasta recipe she’s asked for. So there’s that, too.

Anyway, this is my roundabout way of coming around to last night’s cryptic posts on Instagram and Twitter. I’m not a person who beats around the bush when it comes to the important stuff, so here goes…I have cancer.

My dentist found a lump on the floor of my mouth during an exam a few weeks back, so she shooed me off to the University of Pennsylvania’s dental school to be examined by an oral surgeon. I got my biopsy results yesterday morning.

I saw my primary care physician in the afternoon and as a former boss once said, we huddled. My next doctor’s visit is to an ENT (otolaryngology, or ear, nose and throat) specialist and I should have my referral this afternoon. Other than this lump of insane little cells invading my personal space, I’m in perfect health.

Like the author Lisa Scottoline’s late mother once said, “Aside from all this shit, I’m fine.”

So, this will not be a cancer blog. Sure, I’ll post about it and talk about it because I’ll need to, but it won’t be the focus of it because there are other things to yap about. Right?

Besides, I’m fine. Aside from all of this shit, of course.